SAN ANTONIO, TX – Some San Antonio city parks look more like tent cities as Easter weekend campers settle in for an annual tradition.
A curfew on overnight camping was lifted at 10 city parks as of 11 p.m. Thursday.
It will go back into effect at 11 p.m. Sunday.
In the meantime, families have begun staking their claims, pitching tents and roping off areas where they will spend the holiday weekend.
Roland Sanchez began securing his space at Brackenridge Park last Wednesday by chaining a chair to a permanent picnic table.
Thursday night, he put up his tent and slept in it for the first time.
He said his family has been spending Easter outdoors for years.
“I'm the one that organizes it,” Sanchez said. “I like for my family to get together at least once a year.”
This year, it will be a fairly large gathering including about 20 to 30 people, he said.
On another swatch of land at the water’s edge, Anna Ramirez and members of her family put up caution tape and about a half dozen tents.
She’s expecting seven families in all to join them.
“Saturday, we usually have a barbecue and then we go to the zoo,” Ramirez said.
Her nieces, Abigail and Genesis Zavala, are looking forward to other things.
“Sometimes we do marshmallows, roast marshmallows,” said Abigail.
Genesis, meanwhile, is excited about the outdoor activity.
“You could ride the bikes here. You could go to the zoo, the maze, the playground,” she said.
Before the good times can get going, though, most of the families had to have someone tough it out by watching over the campsites for days.
Competition for the perfect place in the park can be fierce, and other people aren’t their only concern.
This year, many of the popular areas for camping in Brackenridge Park are crowded with birds.
Among them are buzzards that appear to be poised to pounce on any unattended food.